Pure Blue Nudity: SciFi and the benefits of being naked

Amber Atalaya Evans Pinel

Trying to gain some peace and calm in your hectic life?
Wanting to feel grounded?
Feeling self-conscious or uncomfortable about your body when not clothed?
Well then, being naked is for you!

Meet Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan – She is a tenth level Pa’u (priest) in the Delvian Seek.
She enjoys basking in the sun and spending time in the nude. She and the Delvians are part of the known universe in the television series Farscape.

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Farscape takes place in a distant part of the universe. The main character, a human from earth, is shot through a wormhole and comes into contact with a space ship full of escaped prisoners.

Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan is one of the several alien prisoners on the ship. Zhaan is a Delvian – a blue humanoid species that is biologically plant-like. They life in a theocratic society ruled by Pa’u (priests) that follow the way of a gentle, healing Goddess. Zhaan studied to become a Pa’u of the Delvian Seek in order to master her dark emotions borne of her imprisonment.

Zhaan is kind, peaceful, and very powerful in her own right. She spends her free time dabbling in herbal medicines and meditating in her quarters – always nude.

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While I’m not an expert, I hear that meditation has fantastic affects on the body and mind. Generally, the purpose of meditation is to focus all of your attention inward. It can help you reduce anxiety and perhaps even increase happiness. I have used meditation to reduce my own anxiety and I agree that it is often times extremely helpful.

However, Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan would agree that the benefits of meditation are significantly heightened if the meditation is done in the nude.

It is my belief that nudity has a lot of benefits, whenever you choose to leave the clothes off. Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan enjoys being nude whenever she is in her private room and sometimes when she is not. In one episode of Farscape, she spends some time on a sand planet whose sun is having solar flares. Being a plant-like humanoid Zhaan relishes sunlight and has a literally orgasmic experience with the solar flares (whilst nude, of course.)

I used to be self-conscious about being nude, even in my own home. I spent several years bouncing between my parents house, dorms, and overcrowded apartments. It seemed like I never had any privacy to be nude, even for a moment out of the shower. Then I met my now girlfriend who is a partial nudist herself. She is not shy about the human body; and unless it’s in the dead of winter she spends all her time at home completely naked. At first this was unnerving to me. I had often been one to linger before dressing after a shower, but this was another matter entirely. She cooks, lounges, studies, and sleeps without clothing; and in our firmly-clothed culture that’s a total oddity.

However, while in her presence, I am part of her culture. Rather, we create a culture together, and that culture is a nude one. Since meeting her I’ve gotten over my timidity at being naked outside the bedroom, and I relish the opportunity to be around someone who encourages my nudity. I now stay nude more often when I am alone than I ever did before. And, it has definitely had its benefits. I feel less self-conscious about being nude, and more confident in my body. Hanging around in just my skin has solidified the normality of my body; I’m used to looking at my body. And the more I look at my body, the more I realize that I am beautiful. Being nude has helped me eliminate the gap between society’s expectations for my body and my body in its natural state. It has made me more confident when I’m wearing clothing, even. And I owe this all to some time spent in the nude.

There is an existing and constantly developing movement to use female nudity to empower and to protest. Women all over the world are marching partially nude and completely nude, and sometimes posting nude pictures of themselves to protest the exploitation of women’s bodies. Some journalists are arguing that using nudity in activism is one of the best tools to combat the body shaming of women who do not fit the “young, thin, and white” mold. In this article by Soraya Chemaly she lists six reasons female nudity can be powerful, most of them being ways to stand up to misogynist and sexist culture (and it’s a fascinating read, I highly recommend it.)

“Self-defined public female nudity is a challenge to capitalism and its uses of women as products, props, assets and distributable resources. Nothing on Earth is used to drive sales and profits and display male wealth and status like women’s, often naked and semi-naked, bodies,” wrote Chemaly.

However, not everyone agrees nudity is the best tactic to bring attention to important issues. Lorelei Vener writes in this article that nudity in campaigns can distract people from the purpose of the campaign. She says that when nude protests are covered by the media women are not reclaiming their nude bodies, they are only furthering the objectification of them.

Whether or not nudity is a helpful tactic in political activism, it certainly is beneficial to cultivating body positivity. People are scared of the unclothed human body, especially their own. But it’s not because we’re all scary looking underneath our garments: it’s because we don’t spend enough time looking at naked people. Sure, in the media we are bombarded with images of naked women constantly. But almost all of those images are of women who fit a very particular mold. Those women are beautiful, but the point is that all women are beautiful; and in order to cultivate the belief that we are all beautiful, we need to get down with our naked selves.

abeautifulbodyproject.com is dedicated to the mission of body positivity through nudity, and Jade Beall is one of their warriors. She takes pictures of her friends and strangers in the nude in order to show that we are all beautiful.

Nudity is a powerful tool: it can help us rebel, and it can help us make peace with ourselves. Whatever your reason, Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan recommends you spend some time naked.

Pa’u Zotoh Zhaan was played by the Australian actress and former model Virginia Hey. I think it’s worth mentioning that since her time on Farscape Hey has become a Pa’u in her own right: she opened her own perfume and soap company, and she teaches meditation and natural therapy.

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